Thursday, February 27, 2014

Prepping for Vegetable/fruit week

        I am doing some research for a vegetable and fruit week. Once I feel confidant that I know how to eat during this week without losing energy I will begin. Below are my notes, helpful videos, and will keep changing over the check often. I am doing this primarily to see how I feel eating at such a high level of healthiness, I am on week 2 of my marathon training so I need to keep up the energy, but try to shed some of my extra pounds so I can become a faster runner. I have heard enough interviews with people who eat primarily fruits and vegetables to know that it might work to both help me shed pounds but to also sustain a high level of energy, enough to make me run faster even. But that is YET to be seen. First things first. 

**Soups (carrots, burdock, tomatoes, celery, basic, chives, miso, garlic powder): pour boiling water over the top. Won't be cooked to death. Fiber in tact. 
** smoothies (fruit smoothies for the morning) 
     Sweet Green Smoothie 
     Glowing Green Smoothie
     Hot Pink Breakfast Smoothie
** juices 

Shopping List:
Frozen Fruits
plain yougurt
frozen strawberries

Thursday, February 20, 2014

New 16-week training plan- Runner's World

                I was all relaxed in my running schedule until I did the math and figured out that I am EXACTLY 16 weeks from my next marathon, the North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon in Virginia. I looked around online and decided on Runner's World's Running 16-weeks Plan. It has very specific schedule with tempos, speed, long runs and 3 days off a week! But, I am not getting off so easy. It has FOUR 20 mile runs embedded in the program. I may be biting off more than I can chew....but we'll see. So far, I am pumped for springtime and know the warmer days alone will get me out there more. I printed out the plan and posted it on my fridge and made a copy to carry around with me to work. 

Bookstore Finds

                    Usually when I go to the bookstore I am lucky to find one copy of Born to Run and several copies of maybe Chi Running .  But this weekend we went with the family to a Barnes and Noble in Downtown DC and found these awesome unique titles. I wanted to buy the Sheehan book (Running and Being) but I could not get myself to buy a new book....I usually go the 'used' route. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Inspirational runner art

                       This is what a snow day will do to you!!! I have a HUGE collection of running magazines. Runner's world, Ultrarunner, Trail Runner, Women's running and Competition (I think it's called). I went through them and cut out all the words, images and phrases that stood out to me. Then, I painted these 20x24" canvases in yellow/orange and let them dry. Once dried, I decoupaged these images and left a 4x6" space for a personal photo to be placed in the canvas. In this case, I put my image in each canvas, but did not glue my image on. They are purely for demonstration. I plan to put these canvases for sale in my Etsy store called MiriamArt. They would make a great running gift to any endurance runner.

Signed up for my 2nd 50k race

It's done. I sent my application to the 2014 West Virginia Trilogy 50K race. I cannot wait to start training for this. I copied and pasted below my notes (from a prior post) on how to beat my time this coming round: 

IF.....I were to run West Virginia Trilogy- 50K again next October....what would I do different, or the same?

               So I am very much considering running the West Virginia Trilogy 50K race again next year. I have been thinking hard about what I would need to do different to have a PR (a personal best in time). Here is a list of what I would need to do to be better prepared. 

1. Twice a week do hill repeats lasting 45 minutes to an hour. The course is very hilly. I mean VERY hilly. Two of the mountains seem like you are climbing 45 degrees for half an hour each. 

2. Have a more solid base in running where I am running, before even FORMAL training begins, at least about 30 miles a week. Approximately 5 Tuesday, 5 wednesday, 5 Thursday, 12-15 Saturday. 

3. I would take both Thursday and Friday off again but this time leave home Thursday morning and get to the mountains during daylight and spend the night in a tent. This time around we got there very late and then we had about an hour an half drive to our hotel. If I tent right at the mountain, I can sleep better and be more relaxed in the morning. 

4. I need to shed a few pounds in order to improve my pace. I am currently working with to get me there. 

5. One run a week should be speed work. 

6. One run a week should be in the Rock Creek Trails. 

7. Run through all deep, muddy puddles, NOT try to run around them. In fact, the cold water from the mud puddles feel amazing on hot, swollen feet from hours of running.

8. Don't bother changing at all! If my feet are wet, they will only get wet again within minutes of changing them. 

9. Vaseline on toes. I have lost 2 toenails from the impact of the 10+ hours of racing. I don't mind losing them, they are often seen as a 'badge of honor' in the Ultra community, but the care they require after tends to get annoying. 

10. No hydration pack. Yet, DO carry two hand held hydration bottles. Also, any GU's I will carry should only be in a fanny pack. 

11. Again, carry my splits expectations on me...not on a paper....maybe sharpie it on my arm. Maybe tape it to a water bottle, but certainly do not carry it on paper. 

12. Run thorough all streams, DO NOT try to hot from rock to rock. 

13. Wear pants, non-compression pants. 

14. No need to bring matter what, you need all your senses awake!!

15. Do wear a visor. It will help with rain and sun.

16. Do consume 200-250 calories every hour and consume electrolyte pills hourly. 

17. Do run ALL flats, no matter how rocky, no matter how slippery, no matter how wet and muddy. 

18. Have a picture taken alone at the finish line. 

19. Leave to go home before darkness sets in. 

Relating with the Treadmill

                 I am done with this winter season! Winter has become like a terrible toothache that began as mere tolerable breeze and now it's full fledge pain in the behind. I am more than done with winter, every cell in my body wants warmth, green and grass. I long for sweaty days and flip flops and shorts. The snow has fallen and the lure I might have felt going out there in the 'elements' has long since expired. Needless to say I have been running indoors. What has not been expected though has been my newfound love of the treadmill. I have been going to the gym in my building for about an hour a day for a week now and I think I am actually liking the control I get on the treadmill. I can set it at a specific speed and just zone out with my podcast, or my playlists and feel my legs get stronger and stronger. I start each run fairly slow, and finish much faster which feels amazing. I walk away from each workout feeling so pumped. So there, I have learned something new and now I feel a renewed sense of freedom knowing that I don't need to fight the 'elements' to get in a workout. 

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Tapping into my inner BRAVE

           Last week I got a root canal. For the first visit, not knowing I was heading to a 3-hour root canal hell of all hells, I wore my marathon t-shirt; dentists always make me nervous. Something about wearing a shirt you worked sweat and tears to earn that makes one able to then tap back into 'brave' mode, so it made perfect sense to wear it. The second part visit of my root canal, knowing more grueling experiences were waiting for me, I wore my 50K t-shirt. The shirts were not for others to see and notice. This was not about others, it was about helping me physiologically get through the hell of a root canal.

          This week, more specifically in 7 days, I am running marathon #2 and all the 'brave' has been zapped out of me. First, this damned winter has cut into my training numerous times, then, stress at work has also been creeping into my world, and my clean-eating and daily juicing has been slowly falling to the wayside. Last, and most damaging, I am developing a plantar fasciitis pain on my left foot which has been making covering long distances very unpleasant; and that is a conservative description.

            Nevertheless, I know myself very well. I will wake up Sunday very early, slap on that bib with my number and drive to this marathon and run those 26.2 miles. If worse comes to worse, I'll walk, or even crawl these miles if I need to. The way I see it is, unless I am broken, bleeding, have a torn ligament or severely injured in some way, I will make my way under that finish sign in however long it takes me. Yet, the worries and butterflies continue to haunt me and chip away at my confidence.

          This current mental struggle of mine takes me to this I radio show I enjoyed on my commute last week. I was listening to the very awesome podcast, Another Mother Runner, a show someone suggested to me on the Women's Running Network on Facebook (which every women runner NEEDS to join). The hosts, two lovely ladies whose name I forget still, invited the current winner of the TV show survivor, whose name I did not bother remembering at all, on the show. Anyway, this badass guest mom describes how she determined WAY before the show began that she was going to win this competition. She added that, yes, there were several more physically stronger competitors on the show (she was 95 lbs by the way) but that she has given birth and knew that she, as all women do, has that inner braveness that we all tap into when in that zone. "We don't know we have it until we need it" she said, and my mind immediately went back to those 10.5 hours spent on my first 50K where I found strength to run, despite the pain, despite the mountainous climbs, despite the pulled thigh muscle, despite the choking tears. I know I have it in me to do this. It's not so obvious as I slosh about on most days, but it's there, I have witnessed it.

            With this fact, I rest peacefully waiting and counting my days to again find the vast strength and 'brave' that lives within me. I have 168 hours to go for my second ever 26.2 mile challenge to begin. One caveat. I believe we ALL have this inner vastness of strength, not just women only. Women just have come face to face with it more often perhaps, but we all have it and it comes out in monumental moments of great challenge and opens up the gift of utter fearlessness. I may or may not finish this race, that is yet to be seen. But my mind will only focus on that finish line, relentlessly, fearlessly moving forward, one step at a time. Like my ever-wise husband said to me when I expressed my tearful concern about not finishing, "but you've already done it once before, why wouldn't you finish?".


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Running with my 9-year old

               I have been running with my son about 3 times a week. He is nine and the idea just came up on day for him to go with me on my nightly run. He agreed, got dressed up and off we went. The idea was to run from our house to Safeway, which is about a mile north of where we live. Once we got there, he kept saying, "I want to challenge myself" and would keep adding a little more to our "challenge" each time. By the end of the night we had completed 5 miles and this is the picture I shot of him as he announces his night's total. 
              Surprisingly, he did not feel any discomfort the next morning and from that day on he did my 4-5 mile weekday runs with me. What took me 2 months to accomplish back when I began running, took him one day. YOUTH! I'm not sure how long this new habit of his might last, but all I know is that I am very much enjoying seeing a different side of my little one. At home, what I most often see is him bothering his sister, or moody because he's unable to have any 'screen time' and feeling "bored"! These runs have been so special to me. I do hope they continue for many more weeks, and even years.